U.S. Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number



Cert. Denied


Questions Presented

1. Whether courts applying the reprehensibility guidepost should consider how the defendant's conduct compares to conduct in other punitive damages cases in determining whether the amount of punitive damages is out of proportion to the gravity of the offense.

2. Whether, and if so in what circumstances, a punitive/compensatory ratio in excess of 1:1 is allowable when the amount of compensatory damages is “substantial” and other forms of punishment and deterrence, including significant attorneys' fees for "bad faith" and extensive injunctive relief, have already been imposed.

3. Whether, in applying the comparable penalties guidepost, a reviewing court may disregard the most realistic legislative penalty and instead speculate about the remote possibility of a severe, yet unprecedented and extremely unlikely, fine.

Case Updates

Cert. petition denied

June 27, 2008

U.S. Chamber urges Supreme Court to review excessive punitive damages

September 26, 2007

NCLC urged the Supreme Court to grant review to consider whether the $17.5 million punitive damages award in this case violates the standards articulated in State Farm v. Campbell. In this case, the Eleventh Circuit failed to heed the Supreme Court’s guidance that a punitive damages award should be limited where there is a large compensatory damages award. In addition, the court of appeals did not compare defendant’s conduct to the conduct of other defendants in punitive damages cases. In its brief, NCLC noted its continuing concern about the failure of lower courts to faithfully apply the relevant constitutional guideposts.

Case Documents